Saturday was professions for the Bl. Margaret of Castello chapter, Boise, Idaho, Western Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, Third Order Preachers. In a diocese that is utterly devoid of Dominican friars, it was a rare treat for our chapter to have Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P. with us to give us a one-day retreat, celebrate Mass and preside at professions at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Fr. Andrew Szymakowski of the Diocese of Baker, who came as our guest, graciously concelebrated at professions. The chapter welcomed two postulants, admitted five members to temporary professions, and admitted two -- including yours truly -- to perpetual profession. Stephanie DeNinno, then subprioress (now formation director) and Bonnie Fitzpatrick worked hard to arrange the venue, keep things running smoothly, and head clean-up efforts. On Sunday, we repaired to Chapter House in Homedale, where Fr. Serpa celebrated Mass, after which we got down to some serious eating, drinking and talking -- in short, partying as only Dominicans can. There were no arrests and very few casualties.
So now I am a lifer in the Third Order Preachers, where I never thought I would end up -- the same Order, in fact, which boasted among its members the not-very-nice sisters who ran the parochial school I attended from 1976-1984. That was my first brush with the Order of Preachers, and it left me quite cold. I had all but forgotten about Dominicans by the time I left for Idaho in 1995; but within ten years, I found myself entangled with them again. And now I am entangled with them for good.
St. Thomas Aquinas received a most consoling revelation to the effect that few, if any members of the Order of Preachers would be lost. This is obviously not my cue to commence sinning boldly. But it does certainly point to a solid foundation for hope, namely, the Rule which will now support me for life.